Sports car enthusiasts with children or dogs are dancing in the streets today, because BMW just sent me a note confirming the next-generation M3 will be available with four doors. This means that those in the market for a German-made uber-sedan won’t have to spring for the spendy M5, or A8S, for that matter.
Those who like the idea of the hot four door Bimmer should be thanking Subaru right now, because it’s the WRX that made compact performance sedans popular. “But wait a second,” you’re saying, “BMW had an M3 Sedan before.” Sure, but it sold poorly. Those days, however, are over…and now the market for performance sedans is hotter than the average car stereo sold on eBay.
Arriving in Spring 2008, the M3 Sedan will use the same four-liter V8 producing 414 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque that will be found in the M3 coupe. Almost everything, including steering, throttle response, and suspension will be driver adjustable.
And yes, there will still be i-Drive.
The M3 Sedan might not be the best choice for resale value or ultimate collectability. Sedans never achieve the collector value of coupes or convertibles, which means bargain hunters will be able to pick up a used M3 sedan in ten or so years for a song. And pity the six or four cylinder-powered M3 coupe owner who challenges the cajones of the 2009 M3 Sedan owner!
Sure, there are those who say the sedan and convertible dillute the sport-racing image (and original homologation-special intention) of the M-series. This is about sales, though. And if there’s one thing that the last five years or so have seen, it’s that powerful sedans sell.